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"Seven Pounds" is next.


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That's not right, Tim. Warner Bros. picked the director for 'I Am Legend.' Will Smith joined later as producer with his Overbrook Entertainment, when he got the offer to play Neville.

What do you mean, this project has been in the works @ Warner Bros for years.. Will joined the project a few years ago about 2004..he was going to do it with Michael Bay.. then he went for Francis Lawrence..

I know this project is in the works at Warners for years, Ridley Scott was doing it with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring as Neville in the late 90's. And I know that Will was going to star as Neville with Michael Bay helming, BUT, Will had never inked a deal. And by the time he got the offer to play the lead again, Francis Lawrence was already at the helm. He joined as producer with Overbrook later, when he was on board to play Richard Neville.

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From Variety:

Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson are in final negotiations to star alongside Will Smith in Columbia Pictures drama "Seven Pounds."

Grant Nieporte-penned screenplay centers on a guilt-ridden man who inadvertently falls in love while attempting to kill himself. Dawson will play a love interest who suffers from a serious heart condition. Harrelson will portray a motel attendant who becomes intrigued by his suicidal new tenant.

"The Pursuit of Happyness" helmer Gabriele Muccino will direct the pic, which Escape Artists and Smith's Overbrook Entertainment are producing.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in February for a late 2008 release.

Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, James Lassiter, Smith and Steve Tisch are producing.

Dawson, who is shooting "Eagle Eye" opposite Shia LaBeouf, recently produced "Descent" under her Trybe Films producing banner. Her recent credits include "Death Proof," the Quentin Tarantino-helmed half of "Grindhouse."

Harrelson, who can be seen onscreen now in the Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men," is shooting Stephen Belber's comedy "Management" alongside Steve Zahn and Jennifer Aniston.

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Muccino-Smith: Hollywood’s golden couple

Italian director shooting Seven Pounds after the success of The Pursuit of Happyness

By Paola Bernardini


Seven Pounds is another Hollywood-style movie and another human drama. Gabriele Muccino, after directing Will Smith in the successful film The Pursuit of Happyness, reunited with Smith to tell the story of a man who is on the brink of suicide, but decides to live because he realizes he is in love with someone.

It’s a story of our time, full of the fears and weaknesses of modern society, set in the American world of winners and losers. The shooting of the film, written by Grant Nieporte and produced by Columbia Pictures, will start the first week of March. The goal is to launch the movie by December 2008 and have likely a race opportunity for the 2009 Oscar Awards.Will Smith will play the role of a guilt-ridden man who killed seven people in a car accident. He’s a devastated and lonely man who tries to reckon with himself and remains defeated. He decides to die. This gesture, which should be his end, marks his future. He crosses the tunnel of desperation but instead he finds the light thanks to a meeting with a woman who pulls him away from his agony. Will Smith eventually falls in love with this woman, played by the Afro-American actress Rosario Dawson, who has become famous for her role in the Spike Lee’s movie He Got Game featuring Denzel Washington. She’s also a well-known actress for her performances in Grindhouse by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City, Rent, and Alexander. Texan actor Woody Harrelson (North Country, The Walker, Natural Born Killers, Indecent Proposal) a motel owner who befriends Will Smith. The movie will also feature the Canadian actor Barry Pepper, famous for his role as a crack shot in Saving Private Ryan by Steven Spielberg, and for his memorables performance in The Green Mile and in Enemy of the State.

Muccino’s new movie features a great cast, and the film might be his second chance at Hollywood; who knows if it will repeat the golden success achieved with The Pursuit of Happyness: which made more than $300 million worldwide and garnered an Oscar nomination for Will Smith.

The collaboration between Muccino and Smith comes from a deep reciprocal respect. “There are two reasons that make Muccino perfect for American cinema.” says Smith. “The first one is his deep understanding of human relationships and emotions; the second one is the fact that he understands the fundamental importance of the ending of a movie: when an audience leaves the cinema, they have to be satisfied by the movie, so the last three minutes are really important.”

Will Smith grew up in Beverly Hills, started his career as a singer, as the Fresh Prince, featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jeff Townes). In 1989 he got the main role in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, a successful sitcom serialized on NBC for six years. Then he performed in Bad Boys, Independence Day, Men in Black and Wild Wild West. With the movie Ali he got his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Now he is promoting I Am legend, based on the science fiction novel by Richard Matheson, which in America made $230 million in three weeks. A couple of days ago, it was launched in Italy.

After Seven Pounds, Smith will direct and remake the 1984 cult classic The Karate Kid featuring Jackie Chan, “ A project to make happy my son,” he says.

Muccino is already in Los Angeles, where started to work on Seven Pounds. His popularity is fast growing in Hollywood: he was chosen as the director of a comedy featuring Cameron Diaz and Canada's Jim Carrey, A Little Game Without Sonsequences; but, two weeks before the start of film shooting, the project was stopped. In addition, he might work with Al Pacino. The actress Hilary Swank, who was the winner of two Oscar Awards for Boys Don’t Cry (Roberto Benigni handed it to her) and for Million Dollar Baby, and who will soon in the cinema with her new movie P.S. I Love You, confessed to dream of a movie with the 100% Italian movie director. “There are many new movie directors, but I would really like work with Muccino,” says Hilary Swank at the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest.

We need only to wait for Muccino’s new Hollywood-style movie. In his films he always depicts teenage angst, the Peter Pan syndrome and emotional bonds, such as in The Last Kiss, which was very successful in North America too. In 2006 Tony Goldwyn realized the American remake of The Last Kiss, in which Jacinta Barrett performs the role originally played by Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Rachel Bilson plays the role originally performed by Martina Stella and Zach Braff takes on Stefano Accorsi's part. The movie is the story of a group of friends in their 30s who have difficulties growing up and becoming adults, and of a common law couple in crisis due to a teenage girl. The movie enchanted Will Smith. “Eva Mendes [who played in Hitch, editor’s note] suggested that I watch The Last Kiss,” he says. “I loved it. I adore Muccino and I’m sure that we’ll leave a new mark in cinema with Seven Pounds.”


Edited by Ale
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"'Cell" star Ealy tapped for Will Smith film

Mon Feb 4, 2008 2:03am EST

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Will Smith has chosen Michael Ealy to play his brother in the drama "Seven Pounds." The story, by Grant Nieporte, follows a suicidal IRS agent (Smith) who assumes the identity of his younger brother. His plans are complicated when he falls in love.

Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson are in the cast as well.

Gabriele Muccino, who directed Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness," is helming the Columbia feature.

Ealy was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance on Showtime's "Sleeper Cell." He recently wrapped a starring turn in Spike Lee's World War II feature "Miracle at St. Anna," based on the true story of four black soldiers who risk their lives to save an Italian boy while in enemy territory.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


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Harrelson's currently in rehearsals for the drama Seven Pounds, directed by Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness) and starring Will Smith as a suicidal IRS agent who takes an interest in various people, one of which happens to be Harrelson, who plays a blind pianist. As you might guess, it's a bit more somber than Semi-Pro. "It really is a completely different world," Harrelson says of role. "It's exciting to use your imagination and try to figure out what it would be like."
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